January 30, 2018

Google CEO Sundar Pichai: AI is ‘more profound than electricity or fire’

When it comes to embracing Artificial Intelligence, people have diverse opinions on the technology. While a former Google engineer is founding a new religion where people worship AI as a god, on the other hand, the SpaceX and Telsa founder, Elon Musk finds AI to likely destroy Humans.


Among these diversified views, Google CEO, Sundar Pichai has another perspective considering AI. Speaking at a television event hosted by MSNBC, Pichai said Artificial Intelligence is one of the most profound things that humanity is working on right now. He then compared it with fire and electricity.

“AI is probably the most important thing humanity has ever worked on. I think of it as something more profound than electricity or fire,” said Pichai speaking to Recode’s Kara Swisher and MSNBC’s Ari Melber.

He also acknowledged that there will be downsides of Artificial Intelligence besides advantages, just as fire. “But it kills people, too. They learn to harness fire for the benefits of humanity, but we have to overcome its downsides, too,” Pichai said.

He mentioned that AI could be used to cure cancer and help solve climate conditions.

“My point is AI is really important, but we have to be concerned about it,” Pichai said. “It’s fair to be worried about it—I wouldn’t say we’re just being optimistic about it— we want to be thoughtful about it. AI holds the potential for some of the biggest advances we’re going to see.

“Whenever I see the news of a young person dying of cancer, you realize AI is going to play a role in solving that in the future. So I think we owe it to make progress too.”

The full interview with Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is aired on Friday, January 26, at 10 PM ET, on MSNBC.

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